Towards improving schedule performance of construction projects in Uganda with lean construction
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Among the management concepts and methods implemented to improve construction project schedules is the integration of lean tools in the construction project cycle. Lean is a production management-based project delivery system emphasizing the reliable and speedy delivery of value. Uganda’s construction industry faces problems of project delays which affect project schedules and should be addressed to save time and consequently save costs. However, application of lean to improve schedule performance in Uganda’s construction industry is difficult as the industry does not yet fully understand what the concept is about. Lean is ambiguous, and this makes its application difficult. This research was carried out to understand the common practices in Uganda’s construction industry, determine the extent of lean application in the industry and also propose a feasible lean integration strategy to ensure timely completion of construction projects. The research approach was a mixed approach involving qualitative and semi quantitative methods; questionnaires and structured interviews were issued to contractors registered with the contractors’ body in Uganda, to evaluate construction processes, identify gaps and propose lean tools to address critical factors that affect project schedule performance. Considering the prevailing practice, lean tools that were found to be easily applicable in Uganda were value stream mapping, Just in time, use of the last planner and collaborative planning tools. These could be used to address factors like poor work methods, poor communication and poor planning among others. A lean integration strategy was proposed to enable companies integrate these lean tools into their construction processes to improve their adherence to schedules. The research contributes to the understanding that context in terms of culture and environment cannot be ignored while implementing lean in construction and that lean tools should be appropriately prioritized for successful implementation.